Arts administrators, arts managers, or artistic directors handle the business end of providing access to arts exhibitions and programming. They emphasize and enhance the role of the arts within the community, and the cultural and economic contribution the arts make to society. Arts management requires strategic planning, artistic creativity and social commitment - calling on management and financial education, knowledge of the artistic process and an awareness of the dynamics and educational needs of their communities. An arts manager should recognize the social, cultural, economic, political, technical and ethical contexts of art through his or her education in arts, education, business, and law.
Prerequisites for online, self-directed graduate study can include a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum of two year's paid or volunteer post-baccalaureate work experience in the nonprofit arts arena.
An advanced degree in fine arts or arts administration is necessary for management or administrative positions in government, in foundations or for teaching in colleges and universities. An example is the Master of Arts in Arts Administration (MAAA) that offers you training in administrative leadership. Coursework will further explore financial management of public arts programs, fundraising, staff and volunteer management, and public relations. Some programs will have on-campus residency requirements.
What can you do with a University Degree in Art?
Career Specializations within Art
The job prospects for art majors are relatively wide open because the main credential employers are looking for is your solid background in arts education and your on-the-job training and experience. For example, art historians, arts managers, and arts educators can all compete for a museum curator job if they have the right work experience. Employers can and will teach you the specifics of the job you are doing after you have the arts degree which shows them you have learned "how to think" about art.
At the same time, keen competition is expected for both salaried jobs and freelance work, because many talented people are attracted to the visual arts without a steady increase in available positions. You should be prepared to be versatile in where you apply your knowledge.
Possible job opportunities for art history, arts educators, or art administration majors include: